The IB and Universities

The IB Program is prestigious and well-regarded. Here is a brief overview of how colleges view the IB in different parts of the world.


Colleges in the USA understand and often give credit for the IB Program. They know it is academically rigorous, and they generally allow students who have successfully completed courses at the Higher Level to skip equivalent courses in the first year of college. Top universities are interested in whether or not a student is coming out of the Full-Diploma Program, since they will typically award places to students who are performing successfully in the highest program that a particular school has to offer. Many colleges give scholarships to students on the basis of achieving the Full Diploma.

Nevertheless, the Full Diploma is not essential as an admission requirement into US colleges, since these colleges will also assess students based on the their high school grades, involvement in the total school program, and SAT results.

United Kingdom

Students applying to the UK would be better off in the Full Diploma program. UK colleges will make conditional offers to students based upon the grades that they are predicted to obtain in the final exams. If they satisfy the conditions set (usually a total number of points with specific achievements in the Higher Level subjects) they will automatically be able to attend that university. Although it is possible to attend some UK universities without completing the Full Diploma, the range of universities and subjects is limited. Although UK universities will take high school achievement into consideration, they are most interested in predicted grades, the student’s personal statement, and recommendations.


Canadian universities view the IB program very favorably and lie somewhere between the UK and the USA in their approach to using the IB in their admissions process. Universities will ask for a student’s predicted IB grades, are often willing to make an unconditional offer based on the predictions. However, if a student fails to live up to the expectations of the college by scoring much lower than predicted, he may be placed on academic probation, or even have the offer for entry into a particular course rescinded.

IB course students are also regularly accepted into Canadian universities, as long as they have good grades in school and/or good SAT scores.


Australian universities prefer the Full Diploma, although course students can also be admitted to certain universities. Since the academic year in Australia begins in February, students will already have received their IB results before they apply. Therefore, the universities will give unconditional offers based on the scores, rather than the conditional offers of the UK.


The IB is gaining wider recognition within Japan. A number of well respected universities offer places to our IB students, both Full Diploma and course students. If applying as a Full Diploma student, the university is interested in predicted IB grades, along with other records of high school achievement. If a student is applying as a non-Full Diploma student, then the university will consider that he is applying in the non-IB track and will be interested in high school transcripts, SAT scores, and other indicators of high school achievement.

Other Countries

Universities of most countries around the world recognize the IB Program and the Diploma. To find out more, visit the websites of universities of particular interest.